The plenary talks at the 18th International Conference on Information Fusion will feature the following keynote speakers:

Tuesday, July 7 – 8:30 A.M.

Moshe Kam, New Jersey Institute of Technology

 The impact of Sensor and Data Fusion thought on Engineering Practice
and Engineering Education, 1975-2015

 Motivated by challenges in detection and estimation in military systems and radar, data and sensor fusion studies burst into the scene in the mid 1970s. Many relevant architectures and data integration architectures can be traced to earlier times, but the renewed interest in the 1970s was the definitive birth (or perhaps re-birth) of the discipline. In this presentation we will follow the development and expansion of the field since its early introduction, focusing on two areas of impact: (1) utilization in engineering applications; and (2) integration of data fusion and sensor fusion in engineering curricula. Both subjects are related to questions about assumptions, realism of modeling, computational complexity, interplay of complexity and performance, and mathematical sophistication (required for entry, use, understanding and interpretation). We will follow the main themes and emphases in the data and sensor fusion literature as they evolved over the last four decades, identify the principal trends, and assess the degree of proliferation of ideas from the developing literature into disciplinary graduate and undergraduate education programs in engineering. We will further discuss what an academic course-of-study that includes sensor and data fusion would look like, who can benefit from such curriculum, and how might it be of interest to groups interested in developing new engineering education programs. 
Moshe Kam Moshe Kam is an engineering educator presently serving as the Dean of the Newark College of Engineering at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Until August 2014 he served as the Robert G. Quinn Professor and Department Head of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Drexel University. In 2011, he served concurrently as the 49th President and CEO of IEEE. Earlier he was IEEE’s Vice President for Educational Activities (2005–2007) and IEEE’s Representative Director to the accreditation body ABET. Dr. Kam’s research interests include detection and estimation; data, decision and sensor fusion; robotics and navigation; and engineering education. He has published extensively in these areas in periodicals that include the Proceedings of IEEE, the IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, Automatica, and Information Fusion. He served as General Chair and Program Chair of several technical conferences, including the International Summit on Meeting the Growing Demand for Engineers and Their Educators 2010-2020; the First IEEE International Symposium on Cost-Effective Museum Exhibits in Engineering and Applied Science; and the IEEE Secure Agents Workshop.

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Wednesday, July 8 – 8:30 A.M.

Colleen Keller, Metron

Bayesian Search for Missing Aircraft

Bayesian search theory provides a disciplined method for planning searches for lost objects. The Bayesian approach was successfully applied in the 2009 search for the wreckage of Air France flight 447, which was discovered at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean in 2011. This talk will describe the Bayesian approach and previous applications to searches, leading up to the analysis that solved the mystery of AF447.   The talk finishes with a discussion of the current search for Malaysian Air flight MH370 in the Indian Ocean, describing what is known and how the Bayesian approach could be used to guide search efforts.
Download presentation slidesPDF_16x16
Colleen Keller Colleen Keller is an Operations Research Analyst at Metron, Inc., a small DoD consulting firm specializing in mathematical software applications to real-world problems. Colleen was part of the Metron team that performed Bayesian probability mapping for the French Government in the 2009 search for Air France 447; she traveled twice to Paris to work on site and reconstructed the surface search efforts to find the floating wreckage. More recently she has served as Metron’s spokesperson for questions raised by the media on the search for Malaysian Air flight MH370. Colleen also applied Bayesian principles to the search for Steve Fossett in 2006 and is a founding member of the all-volunteer Missing Aircraft Search Team (MAST) which tackles cold cases of missing aircraft. She is a 3,000-hour instrument- and commercial- rated private pilot and FAA-certified A&P mechanic, and a Civilian Volunteer to the San Diego Sheriff Department’s Aero Unit and Search and Rescue team. Colleen holds a B.A. in Physics from Dartmouth College (1985) and a M.S. degree in Applied Physics from The Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering (1990).  She has been with Metron since 1995.

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Thursday, July 9 – 8:30 A.M.

Edward Cope, NGA

 Integrative GEOINT Foresight: Fusion of Transdisciplinary Expertise via Visual Analytics, Models, and Collaborative Computing
 Our world is full of “wicked problems” – so called not because they are evil but because of their mind-boggling complexity. These problems are difficult to understand, and even more difficult – if not impossible – to solve. Climate change is one of the wicked problems we face today: its effects on global landscapes and human welfare create exceptional complexities for planners, policy makers, and decision makers. Droughts, floods, increased temperature, and other effects associated with climate change can limit resources and intensify conflicts to control them. This can create a domino effect starting with geo-physical changes and resulting in social and political effects such as migration, disease outbreak, and political instability. Each of these outcomes could have significant impacts on our national security. Anticipating the impacts of climate change on national security was recently identified as a top priority by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). Last year, the DoD published the “2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap,” which states, “Rising global temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, and more extreme weather events will intensify the challenges of global instability, hunger, poverty, and conflict.”In this talk, we introduce and explore the transdisciplinary fusion challenges associated with a new GEOINT research partnership called the Foresight Initiative. This research effort examines the integrative nature of geospatial, temporal, contextual, and visual reasoning data. The goal of the project is to create a suite of decision-making modules and interactive, anticipatory analytic processes that policy makers can use to understand, anticipate, and mitigate national security risks associated with climate change, with a focus on water-energy-food nexus. The capabilities we develop will include processing modules for advanced data analysis, simulation, and visualization.“Foresight represents a new way of thinking,” says Nadya Bliss, the initiative’s Principal Investigator. “It’s about a new way of thinking about problems, new ways of engaging multiple disciplines, and new ways of engaging multiple agencies.”The Foresight Initiative (https://foresight.asu.edu/) is supported by a $20 million, five-year cooperative agreement from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and represents a partnership between NGA; Arizona State University; and the Argonne, Oak Ridge, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratories.
Edward Cope Edward T. Cope, DISL-01, is the Director of Basic and Applied Research at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). In this role he is responsible for conceptualizing, communicating, and actively exploring innovative strategies to conduct basic and applied research and development for GEOINT that supports future science and technologies in core multidisciplinary areas such as geodesy and geophysics (gravity models, World Geodetic System), sensors (remote sensing), image science (photogrammetry), information technology (massive data challenge), as well spatial aspects of social sciences in support of human geography applications. Until November 2007, he served as Functional Management Executive for NSG Research and Development at NGA Headquarters. He was responsible for developing and executing all plans and programs to more effectively and efficiently harness the collective resources of the NSG R&D community to increase overall R&D situation awareness, enhance the value of GEOINT R&D to the nation’s toughest intelligence challenges, and increase the tempo for translating GEOINT R&D into operational capabilities supporting the warfighters around the world.

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